Status and Trends of Biodiversity
The five natural zones of Tajikistan are foothill plains, low mountains and valleys, mid-high mountains, light forest and forest and high mountains with snow and glacier. Excluding insects, these five zones contain 23,000 species of flora and fauna, 1900 of which are endemic. About 30% of the country has been transformed into agricultural or urban ecosystems, and 22% is designated as protected areas. Annually, about 35-50 tonnes of medicinal plants such as plantain, Ungernia Victoris, St. John wort, mint, elecampane, nettle and others are prepared. Rare and endangered mammals include the argali, snow leopard, and Siberian ibex, whereas the Bukhara red deer, the Persian gazelle, the Siberian mountain goat, and the Tajik markhor are listed as vulnerable species in the 1988 Tajikistan Red Data Book. A number of birds are equally endangered, including several species of waders, birds of prey, pheasants, cranes, plovers, pigeons, and swifts. Nearly half of the species of the mid-mountain forest ecosystems are considered endangered because of habitat loss. The causes of biodiversity loss include conversion of land, poaching, poor management of protected areas, and non-implementation of biotechnical projects for restoration of endangered species, habitats, and ecosystems. Illegal and unregulated hunting over many years has endangered about 50% of mammals and 45% of the reptiles in the country.
Number and Extent of Protected Areas
Tajikistan has established 21 protected areas, which account for 22% of its total land area. In addition, Tajikistan has 5 wetland sites of international importance.
Percentage of Forest Cover
Forests in Tajikistan cover 410,000 ha and other wooded areas cover 142,000 ha.